It Rains In Spain

Guide to Cartagena

Murcia      Cartagena      Lorca      Costa Cálida

Guide to Cartagena Spain. It Rains in Spain Guide.

Guide to Cartagena – Introduction

If you weren’t aware of the fascinating history of the town of Cartagena, it would be all too easy to overlook it as a mediocre place with little of interest except for it’s huge naval base and wonderful local beaches.

Yet Cartagena was one of the great cities on the Iberian peninsula for years, coming to prominence under the Romans as Carthago Nova who exploited it’s vast silver mines to such an extent that it’s wealth so much so that Cartagena became the capital of Roman Hispania under Diocletian. From there, Vandals, Visigoths and Byzantines occupied the city, each leaving their own mark. In the early 8th century, the Muslims took Cartagena and until the mid 13th century, Catagena was run by various Islamic powers.

The story of Cartagena after the Christian Reconquest relates to the Cartagena of today. The city went through various stages of boom and bust depending on where the Spanish were trading or exploring  – the years of the conquest of the Americas were not happy ones for the Mediterranean sea ports, with power and prestige going to those naval cities in the north and south west of the country. A huge naval base still remains in Cartagena, and a steady stream of cruise ships keep the money drifting in, but Cartagena has struggled with unemployment and neglect. However in the last few decades the regional government has made huge efforts to bolster the local economy and attract tourists with Cartagena’s fine history and spruced up monuments.

What to See and Do in Cartagena

  1. Explore Cartagena’s Roman glory days by visiting the various monuments around the town. Most noteably, the Roman theatre (second only in size to Merida’s in Spain) and the Decumanus (well preserved remains of one of the town´s major Roman thoroughfares)
  2. Visit the Castillo de la Concepcion (the city castle) for memorable views and a pleasant museum detailing the history of Cartagena.
  3. Pay homage to the devastation wrought upon the city by the Spanish Civil War by visiting the Civil War Museum and the remains of the town’s Cathedral – all but destroyed in the conflict.
  4. Cartagena holds the wonderful accolade of having the highest number of ‘quality rated’ beaches by the Spanish government – take your pick from the dozen or so beaches that are within easy reach of the city
  5. Head to the nearby and beautiful Mar Menor to bathe away the day at this natural lagoon of clear and calm waters.

Where to Stay in Cartagena

Please consider checking and booking your hotel prices through our recommended links below. Clicking will redirect you to our partner hotel website, which searches all hotel providers for the very best prices. Your searching through our links keeps It Rains in Spain free and functioning! Gracias!

Reader’s Tips

This section is specifically designed for our readers to share their top tips with other would-be travellers. If you visited a particularly wonderful restaurant, or stayed in a fantastic hotel, or even ate a tremendous local dish, please let us know here! Any tip whatsoever will be greatly appreciated by our Spain loving community of travellers.

You are currently reading: Guide to Cartagena